The Cultural Gutter

beyond good and bad, there is awesome

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Candid Star Wars Set Shots

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Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) has been posting candid shots from the sets of Star Wars on Twitter.

Death to Life Day

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A lot of people my age have vague memories of a Star Wars holiday special back from some time in the 1970s, but beyond that their memories go blurry. Maybe they recall it had something or other to do with wookies, but specifics are difficult to drag up from the recesses of the mind — […]

Henry Plinkett Reviews Star Wars Episodes I-III

Lonely serial killer and film smarty Harry S. Plinkett reviews the Star Wars prequels: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Trenchant analysis aside, current favorite segments are his love advice to Anakin and “Citizen Vader”–starts here and continues. (Trigger warning for those sensitive to ladies held captive in basements […]

King of the World 3D

David Bordwell tells the story of digital projection, 3D and how James Cameron lobbied theaters to buy the technology to show the films he wants to make. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan wants to save 35mm film.  (Thanks, Kimberly Lindbergs!)

A Movie Less Than Awesome

David DeMoss writes about George Lucas’ film Tuskegee Airmen film, Red Tails, and “unlike every other reformed Lucasfilm fan in existence, [his] dread came with its own personal baggage.” His grandfather was one of the Airmen.

A Magical Tour of Scary Chinese People

As a follow up to “The Yellow Curse,” Grady Hendrix has posted a gallery of images offering a tour of racist stereotypes of Chinese people from 1881 to the present.  

RIP, Bob Anderson

Olympic fencer, sword master, stunt choreographer, performer and actor, Bob Anderson has died. Anderson performed Darth Vader’s lightsaber battles in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Her served as sword master, fight coordinator and stunt performer in films such as 1953′s The Master of Ballantrae featuring a swashbuckling Errol Flynn, The Princess […]

George Lucas Strikes Back

Imprisoned in one room for 20 years, George Lucas wants revenge. (Thanks, John!)

Star Wars Episodes IV-VI Compared

Star Wars Episodes IV-VI compared, simultaneously and in their entirety. Watch while it’s available. (via August Ragone)

Marcia Lucas and Star Wars

The Secret History of Star Wars writes about Marcia Lucas, the woman who made Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi better.   (via Geek Tyrant and Mike White!)

The 5 Stages of Star Wars Fandom

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance and Star Wars.  (Thanks, B-Sol!)

RIP, Irvin Kershner

Irvin Kershner has died. He directed The Empire Strikes Back, Robocop 2,  Eyes of Laura Mars and The Raid on Entebbe. Vanity Fair recently posted an interview with him about working on Star Wars. Agence France-Presse has a report. Film School Rejects has 5 great Kershner films besides The Empire Strikes Back.

Gary Kurtz Strikes Back (by Saying Things)

Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz is profiled at the L.A. Times. He has some things to say about the franchise and toys.

The Greatest Summer Movie of All Time

The Empire Strikes Back vs. Raiders of the Lost Ark–which is the greatest summer movie of all time?  Make your voice heard.

Confessions of the B-Masters Cabal

The B-masters confess movies they haven’t seen. “My viewing of Zombie Lake was one of those events that lead you to question everything in your life that has lead up to it. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was a “where did I go wrong” moment, because many of the choices that brought me to […]

Trapped in a World He Never Made!

Slate‘s Keith Phipps sat through Howard the Duck  and lived to be sad about it. “Howard the Duck, the movie, is as bad as you’ve heard. Actually, it’s worse. But its failings as a film have overshadowed the frequently brilliant 1970s comic book that inspired it.”

ONE TRILLION AND ONE LEANING TOWERS

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1. Overture IslandOn December 4, 2008, the future ended. The event that marked its end was the death of a 92-year old man from the not uncommon cause of heart failure. It would not have been an epoch-ending event save for one detail: the man’s name was Forest J Ackerman.

The Grouchy Snob

Talking about Lucas brings out the worst in me

When people find out that I like science fiction (and write about it), they often try to find a familiar example to talk about. This is a better reaction than to say, “Oh, that crap?” or something along those lines. But recently, the example has inevitably been Star Wars — and what was up to […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Action choreographer, director and stunt performer Panna Rittikrai has died. Films Panna worked on, whether as a choreographer, director, producer and/or actor include: Born To Fight / Gerd Ma Lui (1986 and 2004), Tom Yum Goong (2005), Chocolate (2008), Spirited Killer (1994),  Power Kids (2009),  Dynamite Warrior/Khon Fai Bin (2006), Bangkok Knockout (2010) and all three Ong-Bak films (2003, 2008, 2010).  Film Business Asia, The Bangkok Post and Wise Kwai’s Thai Film Journal have obituaries. City On Fire and Far East Films also remember Panna. Here’s an interview with Panna from Thai Indie.  Panna kicks ass in this tribute video.

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    Actor and singer Elaine Stritch has died. Stritch worked extensively on Broadway, but she also appeared in September (1987), Small Time Crooks (2000), Monster-In-Law (2005), the British television series, Two’s Company3rd Rock From The Sun, My Sister Eileen and 30 Rock. The New York Times Variety and The Detroit Free Press. Saara Dutton remembers Stritch in her piece, “In Praise of Broads.” Here Stritch performs, “Zip” from Pal Joey, “Why Do The Wrong People Travel?” from Sail Away and “I’m Still Here” at the White House. Here she is in a 2008 production of Endgame. And here she is on Theater Talk.

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    Actor and producer James Garner has died. Garner is probably most famous for his role as Jim Rockford in the tv series, The Rockford Files, but he also starred in Maverick (the tv series and the 1994 film), Support Your Local Sheriff (1969), Marlowe (1969), The Great Escape (1963),   Victor/Victoria (1982), Move Over, Darling (1963), My Fellow Americans (1996), Space Cowboys (2000), God, The Devil and BobDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002),  8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and The Notebook (2006). The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here is Garner in what is reportedly his favorite television series, Nichols (1971). And here Garner talks about acting.

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    The Projection Booth watches Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires with Troy Howarth.

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    The Comics Journal takes an in-depth look a Tony Wong Yuk-Long, Ma Wing-Shing and the massive Hong Kong comics publisher, Jademan Holdings Ltd., and Jademan in North America: “He is a showman, this Tony Wong–a real Stan Lee, though I would argue that he is more interesting than the American model.” (via Kaiju Shakedown).

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    At The Comics Professor, Mark D. White writes about the new Thor and reader reaction. “Recently it was announced—on The View, of all places—that the next person found worthy to wield the power of Thor in the Marvel Universe would be a woman, after the current Thor is judged unworthy. (See here for the best write-up I’ve found, including an interview with writer Jason Aaron and EIC Axel Alonso.) Predictably, the comics internet went crazy, with some fans excited and supportive of the move and others very upset, many of them angry that their ‘Thor’ could possibly be a woman. After following the news and conversation all that day, I want to offer a few random thoughts.”

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